This is the perfect salad to celebrate the arrival of spring. Some new season asparagus, lightly blanched and paired with creamy avocado, hazelnuts and some parsley and lemon zest. The key is not to overcook the asparagus so it is tender but still has some bite to it. I added 4 minutes boiled eggs as an extra but equally delicious would be smoked salmon, smoked trout or some lovely goats cheese.
Asparagus and Avocado with Roast Hazelnuts
2 bunches of asparagus, trimmed
½ avocado, sliced
handful of parsley, chopped
zest of ½ a lemon
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
generous pinch sea salt flakes
3 tbspn olive oil
1 tbspn lemon juice
Blanch the asparagus in rapidly boiling salted water for 2 minutes (1 minute if using thin stemmed asparagus) and refresh under cold water to stop the cooking process. Slice asparagus into thirds, and arrange on serving plate. Top with avocado pieces, parsley, zest and hazelnuts. Sprinkle with salt, drizzle over oil and lemon juice.
For 4 minute boiled eggs, place eggs in cold water and bring to the boil. Time 4 minutes and remove from heat. Peel, slice and serve. I think it is definitely worth spending the extra and buying free range, if not organic, eggs.